Surprisingly, not many U.S. supermarket chains are running specific seafood promotions related to Super Bowl XLIX on 1 February, a game featuring teams from iconic seafood towns Seattle and Boston (Foxborough, Mass., to be precise).
However, the rare grocery chains that are running fresh seafood promotions for the big game are going all out. For example, Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford featured fresh, wild seafood from the Gulf of Mexico — along with recipes for the Super Bowl, door clings and counter cards — in its stores through 25 January.
In its partnership with the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (GSMC) and Trace Register, Hannaford held sampling events and provided a recipe for Gulf Creole Barbecue Shrimp in its top 20 high-traffic stores. In addition, it is carrying the New Orleans Fish House brand shrimp in all of its 185 stores.
“Everyone is gathering around watching the Super Bowl, and Gulf shrimp is a great appetizer to eat while you are watching the game…and it doesn’t deflate,” Joanne Zaritsky, marketing director for Tampa, Fla.-based GSMC, told SeafoodSource. Sampling events and recipes are costly, but effective, Zaritsky added. “As soon as people try it, and they can compare the taste to other seafood products, we know we have got them hooked.”
In addition, U.S. shoppers’ increasingly sophisticated palates lend themselves well to seafood promotions for the Super Bowl. “In years past, consumers would have ordered a pizza,” said Michael Ketchum, director of retail accounts for New Orleans Fish House. “Now, there are so many food shows out there, they are more apt to make a shrimp dip and other recipes to impress their guests.”
As a retailer with an aggressive sustainability policy, Hannaford insisted on including Trace Register as part of the Super Bowl promotion. “As part of the agreement with Hannaford, we partnered with Trace Register on the QR code, allowing us to trace the product back to the dock,” Zaritsky said.
Other supermarkets across the U.S. are featuring a variety of fresh fish, frozen or refreshed king crab legs, and cooked cocktail shrimp rings. Still, it is shocking that more grocers in the Super Bowl host city of Glendale, Ariz., or in the cities with teams in the game are not taking advantage of the Super Bowl hype.
While it is not running a specific Super Bowl-seafood tie-in, Seattle-based Quality Food Centers, owned by Kroger, is featuring fresh, wild swordfish steaks for USD 12.99 (EUR 11.44) a pound, Kroger Extra Large Black Tiger Shrimp for USD 8.99 (EUR 7.91) a pound and fresh Alaska wild cod for USD 7.99 (EUR 7.03) a pound.
Meanwhile, Bashas’ Phoenix, Ariz., stores are running specials on several fresh seafood items this week, including frozen, cooked (51/60 ct.) or raw shrimp (31/40 ct.) for USD 7.99 (EUR 7.03) a pound, red king crab legs for USD 12.99 (EUR 11.44) per pound, and farmed fresh Atlantic salmon fillets for USD 6.99 (EUR 6.15) a pound.